Are You Still Burning Or Are You Burning Out?
Jesus spoke to the church at Ephesus a warning that they had lost their passion and were in danger of burning out (Rev 2:1-7). For this church, the functions of ministry and life went on, but their joy was long gone.
What an easy trap to fall into.
You serve, sacrifice, and even suffer as you strive to live a spiritual and separated life before the Lord. When you started, you did so out of burning love for Jesus and a deep hunger to experience more of Him. However, as time goes on, your labor became a poor substitute for your love.
Jesus said to the church, I notice what you DO for me, but I want you to first BE with me. This is always the proper order. Our BEING comes before our DOING. We must BE in Him. Walk with Him. Talk with HIM. And from that place of relationship flows everything we do for the Lord.
Here is the question for us. Are you still burning or are you in danger of burning out?
Burn out starts to happen when you think WHAT YOU DO and HOW MUCH YOU DO is more important than WHO YOU ARE and WHY YOU DO IT. (Read that again!)
In my own life I’ve learned that there are six guaranteed ways to burn out:
1. Run and never walk.
2. Trade away your MVPs (Most Valuable Priorities).
3. Ignore your own emotional needs.
4. Give your time to the wrong people or things.
5. Say yes to everything.
6. Believe you are the answer to every problem.
I discussed these in depth on Sunday (click here for the sermon).
If you find yourself in that place, I’ve got good news! Jesus’s counsel to the church at Ephesus is counsel for us as well. He said to remember, repent and return. Remember what it was like when you first came to know Him. Tell the story of your testimony. Talk with someone about those first fires. Then repent. Change your thinking and attitude in regard to sin and righteousness. Your good works are not saving you, nor are they keeping you saved. We are saved by His grace through our faith! Yes, what we do for the Lord matters, but why we do it matters more! With that mindset, then return to the first works. Your worship, your time in His word, and your witness with others.
That’s great counsel on how to live in these last days!
This Sunday we move from Ephesus to Smyrna in our series, “The Seven Churches”. I’m also looking forward to updating you on the latest on the campus expansion and the “We Say Yes!” campaign.
Last, if you haven’t signed up for a Grace Group, don’t waste another moment. I can think of no better way to connect and grow within our church body than getting plugged in with a group. You can find all of our groups and sign up opportunities here.
See You Sunday!